Official: Shell discovers working petroleum system offshore Namibia

After weeks of speculation, Namibia’s national oil company NAMCOR has confirmed that Shell made a light oil discovery at the Graff-1 well on the PEL-39 license in the Orange Basin.

The block is operated by Shell with a 45% interest along with QatarEnergy (45%) and NAMCOR (10%).

The Graff-1 deep-water well was drilled to a total depth of 5,376 meters in water depths of approximately 2,000 meters, between December 2021 and February 2022.

“The partners will conduct analysis on the well data and further exploration activity to determine the full size and recoverable resource potential,” QatarEnergy said, indicating that a second exploratory well might be on the table in the near future.

“In the coming months, we will perform extensive laboratory analyses to gain a better

understanding of the reservoir quality and potential flow rates achievable,” NAMCOR added in a statement.

The discovery is encouraging news for TotalEnergies, who is drilling the Venus-1X well nearby, and for Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas who expects to spud the Gazania-1 well in the same basin this year but in South Africa.

More on ongoing exploration activity in the Orange Basin can be found within Hawilti’s quarterly sector watch on Sub-Saharan African Exploration, available within the Hawilti+ research terminal.

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VAALCO Energy’s drilling campaign successfully delivers first well offshore Gabon

VAALCO Energy has placed the Etame 8H-ST well on production at its Etame Marin offshore permit in Gabon. While the well had initial flow rates of about 5,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), it was choked back to about 4,200 bopd for reservoir management purposes, the company said. Ongoing drilling campaign VAALCO embarked in December 2021 on a 4-well drilling campaign on the block, targeting two development and two appraisal wells at a cost of at least $117m. Its preliminary production uplift estimates from this new drilling campaign are between 7,000 and 8,000 gross of peak production from the four planned wells. After successfully drilling Etame 8H-ST, Borr Drilling has moved its rig to the nearby Avouma platform to drill the Avouma 3H-ST development well. The future of Etame Gabon’s Etame Marin permit has been continuously producing for almost two decades in the floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel Petróleo Nautipa. A recent extension until 2028 along with repeated drilling programs are set to maintain field output at almost 20,000 bopd. Despite two decades of production that have seen over 121m barrels produced, the field is still estimated to have reserves and resources of about 113 million barrels. Since the Etame discovery in 1995, VAALCO Energy has achieved a 92% success rate on 36 wells drilled. In 2019, VAALCO also exercised an election to extend the lease contract for the FPSO Petróleo Nautipa at Etame through September 2021, with an additional one-year option to run through September 2022. Once the FPSO contract expires later this year, the Petróleo Nautipa will be replaced with a floating, storage and offloading (FSO) unit. The transition would lead to some reconfiguration on the field under which the existing platforms would handle processing activities while the FSO unit would handle storage and offloading of crude oil.

South Africa’s Tharisa mine to run on solar with upcoming 40 MWp facility

TotalEren and Chariot have announced today the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with South African platfinum group metals and chrome producer Tharisa Plc. The agreement paves the way to develop, finance, construct, own, operate and maintain a 40 MWp solar PV project at the Tharisa mine in South Africa’s North West Province. Following the execution of the MoU and before the project can be implemented, the parties will be negotiating a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the supply of electricity on take-or-pay basis. Last November, Chariot had already signed binding key terms of a long-term joint-development partnership with Total Eren. By working together, both companies are working to jointly originate and develop wind and solar projects for mining clients in Africa. The partnership has an initial duration of three years and started on January 1st, 2022. It could then be extended for a further two years. Under the agreement, Chariot will have a right to invest between 15 to 49% into the co-development of projects. While TotalEren is a proven renewable energy independent power producer (IPP), Chariot acquired in 2021 the business of Africa Energy Management Platform (AEMP) for $2m to venture into the sector. AEMP was a renewable and hybrid energy project developer who already had a strategic partnership with Total Eren. Prior to AEMP’s acquisition by Chariot, both AEMP and TotalEren were already looking at a pipeline of 500 W of power to African mine operators.